Design wall dilemmas

I’m in the process of designing a little quilt top. Before Christmas I played around on my newly acquired EQ7 software and bought half metre lengths of four Kona Solids to put my design into fabric. This past week I’ve pieced and stitched together nine blocks using the ‘tube’piecing method.

One block made from four strip pieced units

I played around on the EQ7 a bit more and came up with an idea for a border…

EQ7 design with border

This morning I cut and stitched the inner 1¾” magenta border around the blocks.

Looking good, I thought…

I made twenty-four 3″ diamond in a square blocks. I stitched these to alternate plain blocks and put the whole lot up on the design wall. Hum! I just didn’t see the same effect I’d got from looking at the computer design.

The design wall version didn’t work – I think the diamonds in the border took attention away from the central blocks and there didn’t seem to be anywhere for my eye to rest. I tried mocking up a narrower border between the central blocks and the diamond borders – a bit better but still not right. I found it interesting that the computer designed border I liked didn’t translate well into a fabric ‘hardcopy’. I shall have to build in an expectation that there will be instances of ‘back to the drawing board’, allowing a project to evolve both in the software and on the design wall.

After trying various ideas on EQ7 and on the design wall, I’ve settled (for now at least) with a narrow first border in mustard, surrounded by a broad border in the magenta. I wonder what I shall do with those unused diamond in a square border strips?

Change of plan, two plain borders and some ‘orphan’ border strips!
On the design wall: A narrow mustard border inside a broad magenta border.

This evenings job will be to unpick this mornings magenta border from the central blocks and try the narrow mustard border… Only trouble with this plan is I don’t have enough of the magenta fabric to make a broad border… Another trip to the fabric shop…

My word for this year is ‘venture’. After one week I feel: challenged as I venture into designing, accepting that not all my ideas are going to work and may result in some lengthy unpicking (ho!hum!); happy that venturing back into free motion quilting practice has brought some unexpectedly positive results – my confidence is growing; willing to accept that  many ventures come with a medium to long term time frame – giving opportunities to practice patience and persistence 🙂

I may have mentioned I have a cold (see yesterdays post all about the common cold!)? Today I missed the monthly craft group I help to run. It was definitely best to keep my sneezing and coughing at home but I missed seeing the ladies and catching up on their Christmas and New Year news.

Linking with Judy for some inspiration at Design Wall Monday.

Allison (drowning in a sea of balmy tissues!)

4 thoughts on “Design wall dilemmas

  1. Yep, this is your first and not last experience wondering how your EQ design doesn’t work right with real fabric. I don’t use it for all my quilts, maybe not even most. And very few are designed out completely before I start cutting and piecing. But it’s a great tool to try things out. For my current project I must have tried dozens of designs for the final border before I settled on one. That’s just not possible when working only with the fabric and design wall, or even with graph paper and colored pencils. You’ll get the hang of it, and quickly, by the looks of your work so far.

  2. I’m still a newbie with EQ, there’s just so much to learn with it. I find it interesting when I take a design from graph paper and put it in the software how it changes. Sometimes it takes the focus from the original block and puts it on a secondary design that I didn’t even see at first. I really like the way your design looks, and that thin mustard border is perfect! I’m looking forward to seeing your finished top. Have fun at the quilt shop! 😉

    • Thanks Beth. I’m interested you use graph paper and EQ7, I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing the same too. It seems much quicker to get an initial idea down on paper than to try and recreate it on a screen ☺ Once that’s done, putting it in to EQ7 makes rotating blocks, changing colours etc much easier than drawing out the design many times over.


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